Refugee Resettlement Watch

Posts Tagged ‘US State Department’

White House and anonymous leakers at DOS (and outside DOS) in battle over refugee costs

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 22, 2017

Can you believe it!  Reuters is reporting on four anonymous leakers (inside and outside the Dept. of State) who are saying chief White House aide Stephen Miller is trying to skew numbers to make the refugee program look more expensive than they claim it is!

Former Asst. Sec. of State Anne Richard is still in DC. Is she getting inside info. from her old pals at PRM? Just wondering!

Most interesting to me is that a former State Department “official” is in on the effort to skewer Miller (and Trump of course!).

Can you say ‘Obama shadow government’!

Editor: Sorry I’m giving you a quicky post here.  I am preparing for something this evening and have no time for more comment and analysis, except to say that getting at the true cost of the overall migration of impoverished third world refugees to middle America is almost impossible because in most states, the welfare offices do not track and separate out the different classes of immigrants using social services, medicare, or sending kids to school.

For federal budget planning, I’m guessing Miller is trying to get at the true cost to admit the refugees in the first place which is where the federal budget costs are initially incurred for decision-making needed by September.

Here is  Reuters on the ‘Deep State’ undermining the White House (again!), getting more cocky by the day aren’t they!

Is Simon Henshaw leaking?

Two studies that President Donald Trump hopes will buttress his case to cut the number of refugees are at the heart of a fight between senior White House adviser Stephen Miller and career U.S. government officials over immigration policy, four current and former officials said.

Trump in March ordered the U.S. State Department and other agencies to tally only the costs of resettling refugees but not the benefits that policy experts said refugees can also bring, including tax revenues, professional skills and job creation. [Virtually impossible, and are we going to tally medicare, schools, housing, SSI and criminal justice system costs for how many years?—ed]

Is Larry Bartlett leaking?

A current official said Miller had convened meetings with State Department staffers to discuss the refugee cost reports. When department specialists proposed including refugees’ economic contributions in the studies to produce a more balanced assessment, Miller rebuffed the idea, one current and one former U.S. official said.

The White House said Miller did not hold meetings on the specific subject of the cost reports and that Trump’s overall fiscal year 2018 budget proposal sought to “make transparent the net budgetary effects of immigration programs and policy.”

The current and former officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they believe, however, that the administration wants to help make a case to restrict refugee flows by creating a skewed analysis.

“It’s a policy outcome in search of a rationale,” said a former U.S. official familiar with the debate.

Continue reading here and prepare to be outraged!

Endnote: If Henshaw and Bartlett are not the leakers, they better find out who is! They are responsible for whoever is talking to the press!  Like it or not, they work for President Donald Trump!

Posted in Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

70 MEN held in Australian offshore detention will soon be told if they are moving to Anytown, USA

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 18, 2017

It is truly insane.  You really must unload on the White House and on your members of Congress and Senators to stop this awful “deal” with Australia.

If you are new to RRW, see my post here last week and be sure to read Nayla Rush’s (CIS) detailed accounting of the insanity, here.

From Today Online:

SYDNEY – The United States will tell dozens of refugees held in an Australian-run offshore detention center whether they will be offered resettlement in America within six weeks, two detainees told Reuters on Friday.

The deadline marks the first concrete timetable for a U.S.-Australia refugee swap arrangement that sparked tensions between the strong allies after President Donald Trump described it as “a dumb deal” for America.

So whose brilliant idea was this? According to Nayla Rush at CIS, it was Anne Richard, Obama’s Asst. Sec. of State for PRM who said this: Richard told reporters she was approached by the Australian embassy in Washington, D.C.: “When the Australians first came to us my motivation was let’s do this, let’s make this happen, we have got to get these individuals to a better place.”

U.S. officials representing Homeland Security this week returned to Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, home to one of two Australian-administered detention centers in the Pacific, to conduct medical examinations on 70 men.

Extreme vetting involved six hours of questioning (oh boy, that is rough)! Any chance they used lie detector tests?

The men last month completed “extreme vetting” interviews that lasted up to six hours, with in-depth questions on associates, family, friends and any interactions with the Islamic State militant group.

After completing the medical tests, refugees were told to expect a decision on their resettlement applications within six weeks, two of the Manus Island detainees told Reuters.

[….]

It is not clear how many of the 70 men vetted will be accepted for resettlement in the United States. The refugees include men from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar. [These from Myanmar, aka Burma, are likely Rohingya Muslims.—ed]

[….]

In exchange, Australia has pledged to take Central American refugees from a center in Costa Rica, where the United States has taken in a larger number of people in recent years. [A ‘deal’ implies that both sides get something. Again, why are any mostly economic migrants who got to Costa Rica our problem?—ed]

The swap is designed, in part, to help Australia close one of its offshore centers that is expensive to run and has been widely criticized by the United Nations and others over treatment of detainees.

[….]

Australia’s hardline immigration policy requires asylum seekers intercepted at sea trying to reach Australia to be sent for processing to camps at Manus and on the South Pacific island of Nauru. They are told they will never be settled in Australia.

So Australia has a hardline immigration policy and we bail them out???  And, to add insult to injury, you won’t be told if any of Australia’s illegal aliens (they are not refugees!) will be placed in your towns!

Illegal aliens (or legitimate refugees) who get to Australia are Australia’s problem, not ours!  Imagine a scenario where some Africans came across our southern border, asked for asylum (although there is no way of screening them) and we asked Australia to take them.  Would that ever happen? No!

And, remember this!  Australia needs us more than we need them!

Continue here.

President Trump’s first instinct to call this a “dumb deal” was right, the only thing dumber is to know that and go ahead with it anyway!

For my complete Australia archive, go here where this becomes post #204.

Photo:  Anne Richard was the Asst. Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) for Obama. She came to that job from the International Rescue Committee (I wrote about them yesterday, here). She represents the classic revolving door since she worked earlier in her career at the DOS, then went to the private contractor job, and then back to dole out refugees and your money to her contractor comrades.  Click here for my archive on Richard.

The Deep State is running PRM! (probably with the help of the Obama shadow government, including Richard, in DC).

One of Trump’s great failings is that he has put no one loyal to him in a leadership role in PRM, so they are outmaneuvering him on refugees!

Posted in Australia, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch!, What you can do, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Here we go again, local resettlement agencies operating in secrecy

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 15, 2017

Electing Donald Trump has apparently changed nothing in the way local refugee resettlement agencies contracted by the federal government treat taxpayers—the very people paying their salaries!

I’m beginning to get calls from some of you working in your communities telling me that you are (again!) being barred from “stakeholder” meetings.

For new readers “stakeholder” meetings occur in resettlement towns and cities usually quarterly and it is where the contractor gets together with impacted agencies and departments in your town—like the school system people, health officials, criminal justice officials, and sometimes non-profit group members who are supportive of more refugees for the town. Not usually admitted are concerned members of the taxpaying public who might want a smaller number brought to their neighborhoods.

(At this time of  year they often talk about how many refugees your town can take in the coming fiscal year.)

State Department bureaucrat Larry Bartlett told then Senator Jeff Sessions that there is “consultation” in towns targeted for resettlement. What he didn’t say is that anyone in opposition was not welcome to the meeting!

I had to laugh during testimony to the Senate in 2015 when Lawrence Bartlett, with a straight face, told Senator Jeff Sessions that refugee planning for towns was done in full and open planning meetings called “stakeholder” meetings and implied the consultation was open to all citizens of the towns. (Come to think of it, maybe he doesn’t know that his contractors are turning people away!)

This is what I said in October 2015 (reporting on Sessions’ hearing) about “consultation” and stakeholder meetings:

Consultation is a joke!

Near the end of the hearing, Senator Sessions asked about whether there was consultation with the communities that would be receiving the refugees, and Lawrence Bartlett (US State Department) said with a straight face that there are quarterly consultations with stakeholders and elected officials.

He did not mention that the taxpaying public is prohibited from attending!  He did not mention that if elected officials are hostile, they aren’t invited.  He did not mention that in many communities there is no quarterly meeting.  He did not mention that the meeting usually only involves ‘stakeholders’ that are friendlies.  Go here to a post we wrote in May about the efforts by citizens in St. Cloud, MN to get into a ‘quarterly consultation’ (while ‘leaders of the Somali ‘community’ had been invited), but were told initially that they were not permitted to attend.  (After a public outcry, a few representatives of the concerned public did eventually gain entry to a sanitized meeting.)

Readers are always asking me what they can do.  You can do this!

Go here and find a contractor operating near you (even one within a hundred miles).

Call them and ask when the next ‘stakeholder’ meeting is scheduled and tell them you want to come.  If they say no, call your member of Congress and complain. I know you think they are useless, but you must hound them!

While you have the contractor (they call themselves ‘affiliates’) on the phone ask for the 2017 R & P ABSTRACT.  They may pretend they don’t know what you are talking about, but be polite and persistent.

Even if we should be seeing the documents before they go to Washington, they are not going to give you the FY18 one they are working on at this minute, but there is no reason for them to withhold the 2017 version.  Tell them you want all of the pages including any letters of support attached.

The best one I ever saw is this one from Reno, Nevada.  BTW, they tout Tesla as one of the global companies looking for laborers.

For FY18, they will claim it is a planning document not yet submitted to the US State Department.  The ABSTRACT is the document in which they justify how many refugees your town could get starting on October 1, 2017 and you should have every right to know what they are asking for.

I’ve talked about those documents here at RRW until I’m blue in the face.  Use my search function for the words R & P Abstracts.

The Trump team did not need an Executive Order for this—for creating more transparency and involvement in the local planning process!

Sure hope he is working on this because it would only require some regulatory tweeks, not an EO!

When the Trump team came in to office and crafted those now stalled Executive Orders, they said this (below) in the first order.  I see no reason why this effort should be stalled and I sure hope that they are working on it behind the scenes. They can accomplish this goal with some simple regulatory tweeks!

However, from what I’m hearing about the process on-going in communities, nothing is changing.  Secrecy is still the watchword as much now as it was under Obama.

Here is what the early Trump EO said about a larger role for targeted states and communities:

“It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.”

If anything the Dept. of  State has become more secretive.  I could be wrong, but I don’t believe they held an annual scoping meeting that normally happened in May (for all the years I’ve been writing this blog) where they at least pretended to get public input about the program.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Trump Watch!, What you can do | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

US State Department continues its pattern of secrecy regarding refugee resettlement

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 25, 2017

The leading non-profit watchdog on government transparency, Judicial Watch, has been digging in to records relating to the resettlement of tens of thousands of refugees and other migrants and the money we spend on them.

Yesterday, JW reported that while the Dept of Health and Human Services was forthcoming about the cost of care for the tens of thousands of ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children’ (they are NOT refugees) spread throughout America, the State Department continues to withhold information about what you pay for the resettlement of refugees from around the world.

Incidentally I like the use of the words “foreign nationals” in this article to describe the disparate people we are paying to care for.

Again, the ‘children’ from Central America are not “refugees” and that distinction must continue to be made because the Open Borders Left is working every day to make you think that the mostly male teens are refugees escaping persecution.

Judicial Watch (two days ago):

The U.S. government spends billions of dollars to “resettle” foreign nationals and transparency on how the money is spent depends on the agency involved. Judicial Watch has been investigating it for years, specifically the huge amount of taxpayer dollars that go to “voluntary agencies”, known as VOLAGs, to provide a wide range of services for the new arrivals. Throughout the ongoing probe Judicial Watch has found a striking difference on how government lawyers use an exemption, officially known as (b)(4), to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to withhold records. All the cases involve public funds being used to resettle foreigners on U.S. soil and Americans should be entitled to the records.

The (b)(4) exemption permits agencies to withhold trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which is privileged or confidential. Depending on the government agency and the mood of the taxpayer-funded lawyers handling public records requests, that information is exempt from disclosure. In these cases, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) disclosed a VOLAG contract to resettle tens of thousands of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) that entered the U.S. through Mexico under the Obama administration while the State Department withheld large portions of a one-year, $22.8 million deal to resettle refugees from Muslim countries. Most of the UACs came from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and the Obama administration blamed the sudden surge on violence in the three central American nations. The agency responsible for resettling the minors and issuing contracts for the costly services is HHS.

See the JW post for the details of where your money went for the ‘children.’

JW continues….

Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of the USCCB Migration Committee, opposes President Trump’s EO on immigration. What galls me is that they are never honest and tell the public how much taxpayer money they are sucking up for their ‘religious charitable work.’http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-026.cfm

This has become a heated issue for the government which may explain why other agencies aren’t as forthcoming in providing specific figures, thus abusing the (b)(4) exemption. The State Department, for instance, redacted huge portions of records involving contracts with VOLAGs to resettle refugees from mostly Muslim countries. The files illustrate the disparate redaction treatment given by different government agencies to the same types of records. The State Department paid a VOLAG called United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) a ghastly $22,838,173 in one year to resettle refugees that came mostly from Muslim countries. Unlike HHS, the agency redacted information related to what the USCCB charged the government for things like furniture, personnel, equipment and other costs associated with contracts to resettle refugees. Why did one government agency hand over the same types of records that another agency claims are trade secrets? Judicial Watch is challenging the State Department’s (b)(4) exemption and will provide updates as they become available.

Continue reading here.

I don’t know if JW’s FOIA request was an older one to the Obama State Department.  If it was, it would be interesting to see how the Trump State Department handles such requests.  If this was from a new FOIA (post Trump inauguration), then we know that the Trump DOS is going to be as secretive as Obama’s was.

As we said yesterday, the Trump Administration in FY18 is going to continue to spend billions on these foreign nationals.

Just so you know, Baptist Children and Family Services, that is getting the millions for the UACs is not one of the nine federal resettlement contractors calling themselves VOLAGs.  It doesn’t resettle real refugees through the US Refugee Admissions Program.

It is, of course, a federal contractor just as the nine which monopolize resettlement in America are. Here is an example of a research project someone should undertake—-figure out how much federal money goes to BCFS every year.

The nine VOLAGs comprise a closed little click and I suspect they are not happy that BCFS has wormed its way in to their pots of (your) money.

Two of the nine (possibly more now) have been getting payola from HHS to care for ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children’ for years (in addition to resettling refugees) and the two are the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

For new readers, in government-speak the word VOLAG stands for Voluntary Agencies which I have said is such a joke because they are mostly paid out of the US Treasury to do their ‘charitable good works.’  Go here at HHS where they list the nine so-called VOLAGs.  See them here below:

Just so you know, when I started writing RRW in 2007, there was a tenth VOLAG.  It was the state of Iowa. To break in to this closed group, a wannabe government contractor must show they have experience resettling refugees.  Maybe BCFS is hoping to get in on the refugee resettlement action by first ‘resettling’ the children from Central America.  I’ve also hypothesized that the Mormon Church in Utah might at some point try to break in to this charmed circle.

Posted in Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Promises, promises: As we approach 100 days, Trump has dropped ball on refugee program reform

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 25, 2017

Here is a detailed story at Breitbart yesterday in which reporter Michael Patrick Leahy reminds us of what Donald Trump promised, especially in Minnesota, days before his victory in the 2016 Presidential contest.

With about a week to go until his administration reaches the 100-day mark, President Trump’s campaign promises to halt Syrian refugee resettlement and tighten up the refugee vetting process remain largely unfulfilled.

Trump has reduced the overall number of refugees resettled, something that he implied but did not specifically promise on the campaign trail, but the level of reduction falls far short of the virtual halt many of his supporters had hoped to see.

President Trump’s most explicit statements about the refugee resettlement program during the campaign came at a November 6 rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, two days before the election.

“A Trump administration will not admit any refugees without the support of the local community where they are being placed,” he told a “crowd of more than 5,000 who greeted him at the Sun Country Airlines hangar of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport” (emphasis added):

“Hillary wants a 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees pouring into our country. And she wants virtually unlimited immigration and refugee admissions, from the most dangerous regions of the world, to come into our country and to come into Minnesota, and you know it better than anybody,” Trump said.

“Her plan will import generations of terrorism, extremism, and radicalism into your schools and throughout your communities,” he continued.

“When I’m elected president, we will suspend the Syrian refugee program and we will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” Trump announced.

“Here in Minnesota you’ve seen first hand the problems caused with faulty refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval, and with some of them then joining ISIS and spreading their extremist views all over our country, and all over the world,” Trump told the crowd.

“Everybody’s reading about the disaster taking place in Minnesota, everybody’s reading about it. You don’t even have the right to talk about it, you don’t even know who’s coming in, you have no idea. You’ll find out. You’ll find out,” he promised.

“And we will pause admissions from terror-prone regions until a full security assessment has been performed, and until a proven vetting mechanism has been established,” Trump added.

Continue reading here as Leahy lays out in great detail where Trump has dropped the ball.

We have extensive reporting in our ‘Trump Watch’ category on the many fumbles (if they are fumbles!) and the numbers the Trump Dept. of State is admitting with no sign of any “extreme vetting” having been put in place.

As of last Friday we have admitted 41,553 refugees in FY17, and, at the 900 a week rate, we could reach 60,000 (an average number since 9/11).

If I had to guess what caused the Trump big talk to fizzle, I bet it was the Chamber of Commerce Republicans who have convinced him that US companies need the cheap LEGAL refugee laborers now that the flow of illegals is slowing.

BIG MEAT needs workers willing to work for low wages, see here.  (So does BIG POULTRY, and the dairy industry, and Marriott hotels, and airport support services, etc. etc.). What a business model—pay low wages and the refugee family is subsidized through taxpayer-funded welfare programs!

Never forget! Refugee resettlement is not first and foremost about humanitarianism!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 15 Comments »

Trump Admin comes in at just short of 900 refugees in past week; Syrian numbers way down

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 22, 2017

206 Refugees from DR Congo came in this past week. In 2013, Obama told the UN that we would take 50,000 from the DR Congo over 5 years. We are up to 38,490 right now. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/state-department-refugee-program-head-honcho-made-some-news-last-month/

We were shocked to learn here that, although Donald Trump said he wanted a 120-day moratorium on refugee resettlement so as to evaluate whether we are doing “extreme vetting,” the US State Department would be admitting 900 refugees a week.

I just checked the numbers at Wrapsnet and from last Friday (4/14) to yesterday, we admitted 882. So, they are sticking with that goal which we believe will put them on target for an average number of refugees for the fiscal year—somewhere just over 60,000.

Trump also had said he was lowering the ceiling for FY17 to 50,000.

Yesterday it was at 41,553. 

We will be watching to see if he continues to bring them in when that number is reached, at this rate, in about 10 weeks. (The fiscal year ends on September 30th.)

The big winners this past week were refugees from the DR Congo (206), Iraq (149) and Burma (114). Syrians were way down at 27 and 66 Somalis came in over those seven days.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Iraqi refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Trump Watch!, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

Trump crosses 40,000 refugees mark! Over 900 in past week! Syrians lead the pack in last 4 weeks

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 13, 2017

It has been 4 weeks since President Trump announced his 120-day “moratorium” on refugee resettlement as part of the court-halted Executive Order.  And, for the umpteenth time, I repeat that the President did not have to even announce any “moratorium” or put it in an Executive Order!  He has the power to simply stop the processing!

GW Bush loved refugees, yet at this rate Trump will bring in more refugees than Bush. Bush’s average is about 58,000. At the rate of admission for this past week, Trump will surpass that number. Trump has already passed Bush’s lowest year (2003) of 39,554. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/trump-watch-is-rumored-refugee-cap-reduction-to-50000-that-significant/

Then on March 30th we were stunned to learn that they were aiming to bring in 900 refugees a week through the remainder of the fiscal year that ends on September 30th.

If he and Tillerson keep that pace they will admit around 60,000 this year which is near the average number we have admitted since 9/11.

Do they think we are not watching?

George Bush loved refugees and he averaged under 60,000!

Sure enough, according to Wrapsnet in the last week, from April 6th to today (April 13th) they have admitted 977 refugees in ONE WEEK!

It was yesterday that I noticed Trump had passed the 40,000 mark (it was 40,180 this time yesterday morning).  Today it is 40,602 (you might get slightly different numbers depending on the time of day you check the data, I try to check around the same time every day.)

That is an increase just since this time yesterday of 402!  (See my right hand sidebar where I am tracking the numbers every few days).

Going back to the date that the “moratorium” was supposed to begin on March 16th the Trump State Department has admitted 2,496 refugees.

100 Burmese Muslims admitted to US in last 4 weeks.

Of the 2,496, topping the list are 335 Syrians! 327 of those are Muslims. Other countries, where Trump’s campaign promise of “extreme vetting” was supposed to be put in place (Somalia and Iraq), come in at 283 each, and we admitted 116 Iranians in the last 4 weeks.

Most interesting to me is that we admitted 333 Burmese (that part is no a surprise because we have been admitting Burmese minorities for years and years).

The big surprise is that in just the last 4 weeks we admitted 100 Burmese Rohingya Muslims.  When I first started writing RRW in 2007, we were steering clear of bringing the devout Rohingya to America.

VOLAGs not making so much noise now!

Have you noticed that there are fewer news stories about the Refugee contractors*** screaming bloody murder about Trump (and their loss of federal bucks) in the last week or so? I have.  Has the word gone out to shut up for awhile?

The ultimate test for me will come in September when the Trump Department of State will send its “determination” to the Hill with the proposed numbers for FY2018.  Will Trump simply cave and continue the trend he has begun to bring in the average number of refugees that we have seen in the last 15 years?

Endnote:

We will also be watching to see if the Tillerson Dept. of State will go back to holding public hearings on the size and scope of the US Refugee Admissions Program.  The Obama DOS abandoned the public hearing format in 2015 after several years of hearings that had gotten contentious. See my comments last year here.

The ‘hearing’ is usually in May or possibly early June. We will be watching!

If the Trump team were smart they would hold some field hearings so that citizens impacted by the program could voice their concerns to the Administration—but, don’t hold your breath!

*** For new readers, these are the nine major contractors (VOLAGs), paid by you, to resettle refugees in your towns and cities:

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Rohingya Reports, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch!, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

One report: Trump Dept. of State to cut funding to UN by 50%

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 15, 2017

That is the news from The Hill two days ago!

Finally an elusive number I’ve wondered about for years is mentioned here:

The US pays $1.5 billion of the $4 billion annual budget of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees glass-fronted building in Geneva. Imagine what this costs to staff and run in Switzerland! American taxpayers pay 37% of it! ($1.5 billion of an annual $4 billion budget).

That is the agency of the UN choosing our refugees for your towns and cities!

The Hill:

President Trump’s administration has told the State Department to cut more than 50 percent of U.S. funding to United Nations programs, Foreign Policy reported.

The push for the drastic reductions comes as the White House is scheduled to release its 2018 topline budget proposal Thursday, which is expected to include a 37 percent cut to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development budgets.***

It’s not clear if Trump’s budget plan, from the Office of Management and Budget, would reflect the full extent of Trump’s proposed cuts to the U.N.

[….]

The U.S. spends roughly $10 billion annually on the U.N., and the cuts could have the greatest impact on peacekeeping, the U.N. development program and UNICEF, which are funded by State’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs.

The fate of other popular [?—ed] programs, like the World Food Programme and U.N. refugee operations, are less clear. The World Food Programme’s funding comes from the Department of Agriculture.

Let the wailing begin….

Richard Gowan, a U.N. expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the alterations would spark “chaos” if true.

Richard Gowan, European Council on Foreign Relations, said cuts would bring “chaos.” Photo: http://www.ecfr.eu/experts

“[It would] leave a gaping hole that other big donors would struggle to fill,” he told FP, pointing to how the U.S. provided $1.5 billion of the U.N. refugee agency’s $4 billion budget last year.

“Multiply that across other humanitarian agencies like the World Food Programme and you are basically talking about the breakdown of the international humanitarian system as we know it.”

More here, and then yesterday The Washington Post reported the news as well, but does not mention the UNHCR.

The Post quotes Trump’s UN ambassdor Nikki Haley as saying the following in her confirmation hearing in January. (Just a reminder dear readers that Haley works for Trump, so let’s hope she is now on the same page as the President!)

  “I do not think we need to pull money from the U.N. We don’t believe in slash-and-burn.”

***Let’s talk about USAID for a minute!

We haven’t written much over the years about the Agency for  International Development which also gives gobs and gobs of (your) money to some federal refugee contractors.

I knew the International Rescue Committee couldn’t be pulling in millions from solely seeding refugees in places like Missoula, Montana, so I checked USA Spending just now to see what they were getting from USAID. Yikes!  Here is a screen shot of one tiny portion of one page. (These are grants from 2008 to 2016).

The IRC received nearly $1 billion from US taxpayers during the Obama years!

No wonder they have money to community-organize against citizens in small city America!

 

Six transactions of 971!

 

For our complete archive on the IRC, click here.

Cut Donald, cut!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

Why are we taking any ‘refugees’ from Israel?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 13, 2017

This is another in my series of inquiries about why it is our responsibility to take ‘refugees’ off the hands of governments where those asylum seekers (supposed refugees) are that country’s problem.

(Is Israel taking any of our illegal aliens/asylum seekers?)

See my recent post on Russia, here.  Or, see the dumb deal with Australia, here.  And, I have been writing about this issue for years as it relates to Malta, here.

This morning I want to know why we took 38 ‘refugees’ from Israel in the first 5 months of FY17.  Whoever they are, they are not our problem?

(For background on the problems Israel has with illegal aliens, especially from Africa over the years, go to our category ‘Israel and refugees’ by clicking here).

This is the Refugee Processing Center data from Wrapsnet:

There are a lot of countries on this list that beg the question, why are we taking refugees from these countries where refugees would be perfectly safe!

 

One more thing President Trump’s State Department could do, is to stop using refugees in deals with other countries, something I testified about several times here (see #7).

Posted in Israel and refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Where to find information | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

What does the Refugee Admissions timeline look like for the remainder of 2017 and in to 2018?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 8, 2017

And, what more can President Donald Trump do?

If today is the first day you ever began to try to understand the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program, I’m going to walk you through from where we are.

Presumably you are here because you heard that President Donald Trump announced a 120-day moratorium on the USRAP beginning next Thursday (March 16th).  And, let’s assume that activist groups will be unable to stop it in the courts, see here.

LOL! This is going to be long! Serious students of the USRAP, continue reading…..

We will start our timeline by explaining that planning for the upcoming fiscal year (FY2018) is happening now over the next few months and culminates in September….

In September, the President submits a “determination” to Congress with the number of refugees that could be admitted (and regions from which they will come) in the upcoming fiscal year.  Right now we are in FY2017 which began on October 1, 2016 and runs to September 30, 2017.  The number he chooses is a CEILING, it is not a target!

President Obama in his last months in office set the CEILING at 110,000 for the year FY2017 (most of a year in which he would not be in office). It grates me to see stories like this from a Nebraska newspaper that says Trump is bringing in less than half of what Obama brought in!  Obama had never set a CEILING that high in his previous seven years! In his highest year (2016) he brought in just short of 85,000.

Congress’ only role is to “consult.”  I have followed the USRAP since 2007 and up until 2 years ago, I was not aware of any interest by Congress (House or Senate) to do anything. Perhaps there was “consultation” behind the scenes.  Early on I asked my Congressman to help me attend a “consultation,” but I was told the public could not attend. I suspected it was because there was nothing much to attend!

The “determination” is sent to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and someone from the US State Department goes to The Hill with the letter and report prepared by the Department of State (you can see last year’s here).

The Refugee Act of 1980 does mention Congressional hearings on the “determination,” and to his credit, Senator Jeff Sessions held two very good hearings in 2015 and 2016.

I shouldn’t have said “only role” for Congress is consultation because they do hold the ultimate card—funding! The USRAP could be seriously curtailed through the Appropriations process (something I have discussed at length in my tag ‘Where is Congress‘).  Trump could control the program through his budget too!

And, I am going to argue below that Congress, if it had the guts, could reform the whole program.

Department of State Public hearings were a sham!

In preparation for the ‘determination,’ the US Department of State holds (held!) a ‘hearing’ of sorts to supposedly gather information from interested parties about how many and which ethnic groups we should admit in the upcoming fiscal year. That ‘hearing’ happens (happened!) usually in May.

However, during my years, I’ve watched what was a stacked hearing (dominated by refugee resettlement contractors) to begin with become a nothing-hearing by last year.

The first year I attended the meeting/hearing was fairly large—maybe 100 people in a room in Northern Virginia.  It was a parade of those who were being paid to resettle refugees before a panel that included bureaucrats from the Dept. of State, ORR (in Health and Human Services) and USCIS. They all asked for more refugees and more ethnic groups (notably the Rohingya of Burma/Bangladesh).

After that year, readers of RRW began sending in testimony and more of us with concerns who lived locally attended, until 2014 when the meeting was tiny, held in the US State Dept. with security screening, and was dominated by those of us with problems with the program.  Most of the contractors mailed in their testimony!

Here is the testimony I sent (or delivered in person) each year.

They thumbed their noses at the citizens with concerns!

And, finally, in 2015 there was no public hearing at all! Why? I am sure it is because they didn’t like what they were hearing! They only took written testimony that was not available to the public!

Here is what I said last May:

If you would like to see what some of your fellow critics of the program said in the past, go here, here and here (when you click each of these, scroll down for all the posts in the category). These are our archives for any discussion of hearing years 2012 (for FY13), 2013 (for FY14), and 2014 (for FY15).  The only reason we obtained any of that testimony is that some of you sent it to us and we attended the hearings in person and were given the testimony.

That testimony is not made public because secrecy has always been the watchword of the program!

I doubt that any Member of Congress or Senator has ever attempted to make that testimony public and I’d bet a million bucks (if I had it!) that no Members/Senators have ever asked for that testimony! Shameful!

Hold field hearings!

If Donald Trump’s Administration is serious about reforming the USRAP (and not just temporarily reducing the numbers), his DOS should hold field hearings in refugee overloaded cities!

Any Member of Congress or US Senator could do the same!  (I can help guide anyone who wants to hold such hearings to the troubled communities.)

Right now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson must depend on career State Department officials like Henshaw who we presume likes the USRAP the way it had operated for decades.

Right now you can assume that any planning for FY18 is being done by career bureaucrats and an acting Asst. Secretary of State (Henshaw here).   The Trump team has apparently not selected an Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, an appointment that requires Senate approval.

Of course right now, I suspect the careers are all in disarray and figuring out how to get the last refugees in to the US before the moratorium that begins on the 16th.

This morning we are at 37,425 admitted so far (again Trump’s CEILING is 50,000).  Trump has no legal obligation to reach the CEILING.

Will there be hearings in May?  Who knows!

But….

Planning for the annual determination (for FY18) will begin in your local community (but you won’t know it!) soon.

The local subcontractors (of the nine major contractors) will, in late spring/early summer, be preparing those very secretive documents called R & P Abstracts.  To learn what they are click here for our complete archive on ABSTRACTS.

Those documents list what refugees your community could support (numbers and ethnic groups).  It will give the amenities your town has available—medical care, housing, jobs, education system, etc—for refugees!  It is a document we maintain should be available to you—local taxpayers—BEFORE it goes to Washington!

The R & P Abstracts go to the US State Department and are used to determine how much money will be spent for refugees and will be used to make the President’s “determination” to be sent to Congress in September.

Stakeholder meetings!

The bureaucrats of the refugee industry at the DOS and the ORR will tell the Trump people that there is public input, that they hold quarterly “stakeholder” meetings, and the Trump people will not know what a sham this is.

They will trot out their ‘stakeholder’ meetings as an example (here is one post on those) of how transparent they are with the communities they are targeting.  But, you need to know that unless you are watching closely and demanding public admission to those meetings, they are dominated by the subcontractors (list here), and various branches of local government.  Elected officials who oppose more resettlement will be excluded. And, taxpaying citizens in most places are not considered ‘stakeholders’ and have no role in the preparation of the planning documents.

Back to the 120-day Moratorium which puts us into mid-July, leaving only half of July, August and September to reach the 50,000 CEILING.

This is what John Podesta’s Center for American Progress was tweeting out yesterday to show why the USRAP might in fact be dead for the entire fiscal year.

Again, today we are already at 37,425.

Depending on who is chosen for Asst. Sec. for PRM and for the Director of the ORR (in Health and Human Services), they may or may not be able to gear-up for a huge number of refugees because the process abroad is pretty time-consuming.

The contractors’ fears (and the Open Border advocates like CAP at left) are that the flow cannot get moving with only 2 and 1/2 months left in the fiscal year.

If you have made it this far through this long post, the point I am getting to is this: What will Donald Trump do for FY2018 which is rapidly approaching?

He can set the CEILING low (we don’t consider 50,000 low! See here.).  He can make regulatory changes to make the program more transparent and involve state and local governments in the process.

But, will he pressure Congress to reform the law because only changing the law will assure that in 4 or 8 years we don’t go back to the same old flawed system!

Pens and phones only last so long as the particular President is in power! If the USRAP is not reformed legislatively (I would get rid of the whole VOLAG system of paid refugee contractors) then there is no real reform.

Right now, during a Trump presidency, is the only opportunity we will probably ever have to rein-in and reform the out-of-control Refugee Admissions Program. By 2018 everyone will be looking to the next election and nothing will get done!

Endnote:  If you missed it, see my post yesterday where I suggested that if you live in a state where state legislators are having problems with the program, you must convince them to call Sec. of State Tillerson and ask to meet him and tell him the problems at the state level!

They should go in with one message: Yes, do as much regulatory reform as possible, but Trump must pressure Congress to repeal and re-write the law (assuming some refugee program will be needed).

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/19/2016 State Dept. citizen input, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

 
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